After IPOB, what next?
By Sunny Ikhioya
FOR keen followers of the activities of Nnamdi Kanu’s Independent People Of Biafra,IPOB, it was only a matter of time before the whole thing implodes. Arrogant, long on talk and shamanism, but short on critical thinking, planning and execution. In just three months, Kanu lost almost all of the goodwill he enjoyed from all nooks and crannies of the country. Disrespectful, loquacious and ‘megalomaniacal’, he was insulted people and sometimes whole nations without regard to tradition. Let it be clear to all that no nation can go the secession route alone without the cooperation of other nations in the union.
He wants the South south minority nation to join them without a deliberate plan to woo them to his cause. He was disdainful of political office holders whose support would have helped his cause and even threatened to ground the election process in Anambra state. His exploits are too numerous to record here and so, when the federal government came down hard with all its might – Operation Python D ance 2, he had no one to stand up for him. Alas, it was all sound and fury with no substance.
The politicians from his part of the country must be heaving a sigh of relief, Kanu was beginning to deify himself as a supreme commander, what a joke! But the focus of this piece is not Nnamdi Kanu. It is an analysis of the seriousness of the fight against the IPOB and how it was successfully executed. A lot of people have criticised the heavy handed manner our military men handled the task, rolling tanks and artilleries against defenseless citizens, that again is a debate for another day. Our military forces must feel satisfied with the manner with which they dealt with the IPOB revolt. So, our forces can really carry out a task to its logical conclusion? So they can really face the enemy without wilthing? We must give them kudos for a job well done. Now, having completed the IPOB assignment, the President and his military chiefs must prove to Nigerians that what happened in Abia is not a fluke. They have shown from their display in Abia that when they set their minds to a task they can accomplish it.
It is now time for the big assignment – the herdsmen or whatever name they are called. They have been maiming, raping, killing and rendering innocent citizens homeless since this dispensation took off. Farmers have been displaced from their farms resulting in scarcity and increase in prices of food items in the country. Their activities have since defied solution for over two years now, we are happy that we now have an invigorated armed forces, we expect them to confront those monster herds men with the same efficiency and seriousness they handled the IPOB challenge. In fact, the herds men threat is far greater than IPOB with the numbers of killings registered against them.
Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB have been run aground, what is left for our government and the military? The herds men are still striking. We do not know if the Boko Haram has transformed to herds men or the herds men are on their own but the recent capture of one of Boko Haram’s deadliest commander in Ondo state suggest that they work together, meaning; the herds men or whatever they are called are another arm of Boko Haram. That the federal government and our military authorities are not dealing with this issue with all the seriousness it deserves make a section of the country uncomfortable. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, the same measure that was applied to IPOB must be used for the herds men, that is the only way to convince people that the affair of this country is being run with fairness.
Recently, we have witnessed an unprecedented surge of strange faces in the southern part of the country, they are not only very visible but now display a kind of hubris that has not been known among this band. You can even feel it in the ordinary suya seller, not to talk of the okada riders. The whole space is invaded by strange faces. Upon probing, it is discover that they come from Niger, Mali, Benin, Chad and other neighbouring countries. These people because of religion have aligned with the Boko Haram insurgents. They are in fact their spies and foot soldiers. Their activities are a source of concern to discerning minds and it is hoped that our various intelligence agencies will handle these ones with the same decisiveness that they did with IPOB.
The body language of this government towards activities of herds men has not given anyone enough confidence on their ability to deal with the menace that the herds men constitute. Not one of their big actors or sponsors has been identified or taken into custody. The threat of the herds men is worse than every previous experience apart from the Boko Haram. They not only kill innocent persons, they are also a big threat to the economy. Their activities are chasing farmers out of business and in this period of rains and good harvests, the gains would be lost if the herds men are not put under check. I do not know how they want to do it but the coming of Buhari gave us hope that Boko Haram and others groups will be put under check. Instead, we witnessed the resurgence of the herds men’s activities and they have been having a free reign since then. Buhari must deal with the herds men decisively as he has done with the IPOB. The tackling of insurgency in this country must be done with equal efficiency for all, no colouration of any kind. Our military Chiefs, our intelligence agencies, government, communities, tribes and regions must collaborate to ensure the surge of herds men is put under check.
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